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‘Squid Game' reality show contestants threaten lawsuit over hypothermia, nerve damage during shoot

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Nov 25, 2023 10:44 am

It seems that Netflix's Squid Game reality show became a little too real for some of the contestants, as they're now threatening to file a lawsuit after claiming they were injured during its filming.

British personal injury firm Express Solicitors, through a statement sent to several news outlets, shared that it is representing two unnamed players from the show who allege that they suffered injuries such as hypothermia and nerve damage as a result of poor health and safety standards on set.

Express Solicitors' CEO Daniel Slade said that they have now sent letters of claim to Studio Lambert, the co-producer of Squid Game: The Challenge.

"From what we’ve been told, they pushed the boundaries of safety in the name of entertainment. Production companies need to ensure that health and safety standards on their shows don’t leave people at risk of harm," Slade said.

"Contestants thought they were taking part in something fun and those injured did not expect to suffer as they did. Now they have been left with injuries after spending time being stuck in painful stress positions in cold temperatures," he added.

The health issues were a result of the contestants playing the show’s opening game "Red Light, Green Light." Much like its fictional counterpart, the game requires the players to reach the other end of the field within the time limit, but must stand completely still when the large, robotic doll shouts "red light." Otherwise, they'd be eliminated.

According to a report by Variety, all the 456 contestants were subjected to freezing temperatures that resulted in others collapsing from the cold.

"All of this was carried out in an unforgiving U.K. cold snap that saw temperatures drop to zero degrees Celsius in Bedford on the day of filming. A number of contestants collapsed on setlikely due to a combination of cold and fatigue from the eight hours of prep time before the game even started," the news outlet wrote. 

Slade detailed, "One client describes seeing someone faint, then people shouting for medics. We have a case where someone complains of hypothermia. One had his hands turn purple from the cold. Such injuries can have very serious long-term health implications."

Netflix confirmed at the time that three contestants indeed needed medical attention, but executive producer John Hay defended the show's filming conditions in a report by The Hollywood Reporter.

"Welfare and safety are obviously paramount for us. And we’ve taken appropriate measures to look after people. The particular criticism you’re talking about was centered around the filming of 'Red Light, Green Light.' That was a big, complicated shoot, and it was a cold day, and it took quite a long time," Hay said.

He continued, "But everyone was prepared for that and looked after properly. We anticipated and actually strenuously tested everything in advance and made sure we took all the proper measures."

Squid Game: The Challenge is based on the highly successful South Korean thriller of the same name, in which 456 contestants competed against each other in a series of children's games with a deadly twist to take home a huge amount of cash prize. A second season is currently in the works.

The reality show premiered on Netflix on Nov. 22 with a total of five episodes.